Octopus are fascinating, and I’ve read a few books about them. But I don’t know much about squid. So I was really curious when I saw this book on a library shelf. Sadly it wasn’t a great read for me. Felt like I kept picking it up and putting it down again. Maybe because it was a bit scattered- the narrative jumped around quite a lot which was hard for me to follow (again, could be due to my gradual recovery). It’s not just about squid, but also cuttlefish and octopus. Some of it is about popular perceptions of cephalopods- why we’re so afraid of them (sea monsters! from the deep!) and then it switches to field studies on the open ocean. From where the animals live and how they navigate the world, to how we try and study their intelligence, to what they have contributed to science. I didn’t realize how important squid were to scientific work on the cellular level- especially in understanding neurons. Because squid have giant neurons that are easily visible, and stay alive for a short time when carefully dissected from the animal. And they are pretty much identical to human neurons apart from the size, so are incredibly valuable for studies. I found the descriptions of squid and cuttlefish in this book more intriguing, because I know less about them, but no matter how many times I read explanations of it, I still can’t comprehend how an octopus might process information and make decisions- as most its brain resides in the individual arms. It’s just so strange and alien. And now I want to go watch videos online of octopuses solving puzzle boxes.
Borrowed from the public library.